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1162010 View From the Sideline

1162010 View From the Sideline

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01/02/2013

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LA

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2010 WEEK TEN
H R AR IS

A VIEW FROM THE SIDELINE

J

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Surprise, Surprise!
Sure, there will always be traditional powers atop the football world, a team like Alabama or the New England Patriots.
But, this is the time of year when surprise teams go beyond being a surprise team and become tr ue, legit contenders for titles. Example #1 is the Baylor Bears. Art Briles’ program hasn’t been to a bowl game since the mid-1990s. At 7-2, the Bears are assured of a bowl bid and could play themselves into more than that. The Bears control their destiny in the Big 12 South. Yes, the Baylor Bears. How about at the mid-way point in the NFL where the Kansas City Chiefs and the Ta m p a Bay Buccaneers are both 5-2. The Chiefs are atop the AFC West and don’t look as if they’re ready to quit playing football in early January. This is a young, tough and aggressive squad that has drafted players that hate losing. The Buccaneers have taken some chances with players who have had off-the-field issues in past years - LeGarrette Blount, Mike Williams and Aqib Talib How about at the mid- to name a few. way point in the NFL But, in both situations it’s where the Chiefs and w o r ke d a n d turned two Bucs are both 5-2. surprise teams into 2010 contenders.

Lance and John have joined forces with Orangebloods.com this season, the University of Texas home on the rivals.com network. Check out their work at orangebloods.com

Catch Lance with John Granato 6-10 am CST on 1560 The Game. Listen to John with Sean “the Cablinasian” Pendergast from 3-7 PM in the afternoon. www.1560thegame.com

San Diego (3 - 5) vs. Houston (4 - 3)
November 7, 2010 - CBS 12 PM CST Vegas Says: San Diego -3/51
R 111.6 ypg - 15th 2010 ATS Record 3-5-0 2010 Over/Under 5-3-0 Last 5 games Oct 31, 2010 Oct 24, 2010 Oct 10, 2010 Oct 3, 2010 Sep 26, 2010 W L L W L 33-25 Tennessee 23-20 New England 35-27 Oakland 41-10 Arizona 27-20 Seattle 315.2 ypg - 1st 2010 Ranking Run Offense 136.0 ypg - 6th 2010 ATS Record 3-4-0 2010 Over/Under 4-3-0 Last 5 games Nov 1, 2010 Oct 17, 2010 Oct 10, 2010 Oct 3, 2010 Sep 26, 2010 L W L W L 30-17 Indianapolis 35-31 Kansas City 34-10 NY Giants 31-24 Oakland 27-14 Dallas

Pass Offense 231.0 ypg - 13th

426.9 ypg - 1st Total Offense 367.0 ypg - 7th 26.2 ppg - 5th 83.1 ypg - 2nd 176.9 ypg - 1st Scoring Off. 24.3 ppg - 9th

Run Defense 104.7 ypg - 14th Pass Defense 299.4 ypg - 32nd

260.0 ypg - 1st Total Defense 404.1 ypg - 32nd 21.8 ppg - 19th Scoring Def. 28.1 ppg - 29th

Last Meeting: San Diego - 35 vs. Houston - 10 (10/28/2007)

When the Chargers have the ball...The Chargers are lighting it up through the air, but that doesn’t
mean that they completely abandon the run. This year, the Chargers are averaging 4.2 yards per carry and are rushing for 112 yards per game, but their offense runs through QB Philip Rivers when it is all said and done. Antonio Gates is as devastating as he’s ever been with Vincent Jackson off the field and the Texans won’t be able to matchup with at all. That isn’t an opinion, that’s a fact. How much damage can a tight end do? We’ll find out because Rivers will wear that matchup out. The Texans pass rush isn’t Fantasy Scoop bothering QBs much and probably won’t bother The Texans piss-poor pass defense combined Rivers, but he can be rattled into making some with the league’s leading pass offense equals a mistakes if you do a good job of blitzing him. The start for most of the Chargers with the Chargers lead the league in plays 20+ yards. exception of Ryan Mathews who only gets a When the Texans have the ball... Gary RB3 rating from me. For the Texans, look for Arian Foster get a ton of touches while Kubiak has felt the heat this week for the lack of Schaub gets an average start rating. Be careful touches that Arian Foster received against the starting Owen Daniels who is nursing an Colts after Foster buried the Colts in the first injury. matchup. Matt Schaub hasn’t been the same QB this year that he was last and at some point, Kubiak is going to start leaning more heavily on what is working best which is a running game that averages 5.2 ypc. The Chargers defense allows just 3.5 ypc and they won’t just roll over for Foster and the Texans. The Texans offense needs to be balanced against the Chargers since their 3-4 front can limit the outside zone. Foster needs a good game in this s p o t , but finding the middle of the field with a controlled passing attack would help as well.

The Z Key
Chargers Special Teams vs. Texans Special Teams

Prediction: The stats look great for the Chargers but the win total
doesn’t. The biggest problem for the Chargers all year long has been their pathetic special teams units. If the Texans can outplay the Chargers on “teams”, they can make this game much easier.

HOUSTON - 27 VS. SAN DIEGO - 24 (OT)

Tampa Bay (5 - 2) vs. Atlanta (5 - 2)
November 7, 2010 - Fox 12 PM CST Vegas Says: Atlanta -9/44.5
R 2010 Ranking 137.4 ypg - 5th 2010 ATS Record 4-3-0 2010 Over/Under 4-3-0 Last 5 games Oct 24, 2010 Oct 17, 2010 Oct 10, 2010 Oct 3, 2010 Sep 26, 2010 W L W W W 39-32 Cincinnati 31-17 Philadelphia 20-10 Cleveland 16-14 San Francisco 27-24 New Orleans

104.9 ypg - 18th Run Offense 2010 ATS Record 4-3-0 2010 Over/Under 3-4-0 Last 5 games

216.9 ypg - 18th Pass Offense 233.4 ypg - 11th 321.7 ypg - 21st Total Offense 370.9 ypg - 6th 19.4 ppg - 20th Scoring Off. 24.1 ppg - 10th 95.9 ypg - 6th

149.4 ypg - 30th Run Defense

Oct 31, 2010 W 38-35 Arizona Oct 24, 2010 W 18-17 St. Louis 210.4 ypg - 13th Pass Defense 260.3 ypg - 27th Oct 17, 2010 L 31-6 New Orleans 359.9 ypg - 25th Total Defense 356.1 ypg - 23rd Oct 10, 2010 W 24-21 Cincinnati Sep 26, 2010 L 38-13 Pittsburgh 23.3 ppg - 25th Scoring Def. 19.0 ppg - 10th

Last Meeting: Atlanta - 20 vs. Tampa Bay - 10 (1/3/2010)

When the Bucs have the ball...You’ve got to love the Bucs. They are no better than 18th statistically
on offense and yet they come into Sunday’s game at 5-2. One of the primary reasons for their success has been the steady play of QB Josh Freeman. He has 8 TDs to only 3 INTs and he is making plays when it counts. The Bucs have rushed for over 100 yard in 3 of their last 4 games and will try and keep their running game going in this spot, but Atlanta has encountered much better rushing offenses than what they will see Sunday. The Falcons are a better team and will outclass the Bucs unless Freeman and rookie WR Mike Williams can hook up for a big day. Williams reminds me of Falcons WR Roddy White and will need to play like it Sunday.

When the Falcons have the ball ... The

Fantasy Scoop

Mike Williams is in a must-start spot here Falcons come into this game knowing that the Bucs for Tampa and I would probably look at defense is stuck one way or another. Tampa’s rush starting LeGarrette Blount if you are a little defense is allowing 5.2 ypc and has given up over 100 weak at RB. Cadillac Williams has to sit. yards rushing in all seven games that they’ve played. For Atlanta, start all the usual suspects and Atlanta will bring Michael Turner all day long and look for Mike Jenkins to be a good waiver when he gets tired, Jason Snelling will get to eat. wire pickup for at least this week. At some point, Tampa will decide to sell out and keep 8 in the box with a single high safety shaded to whichever side Roddy White is on. CB Aqib Talib is very talented, but he’ll need help with White and when he gets it, Matt Ryan will have opportunities to light the Bucs up with Michael Jenkins and Tony Gonzalez as the benefactors. If Tampa succeeds on defense, it will be because they win the battle in the trenches.

The Z Key
Bucs CB Aqib Talib vs. Falcons WR Roddy White

Prediction: Both teams have lost to the Steelers and Saints, but the
Falcons lost close games on the road while the Falcons were blown out both times on their own turf. Simply stated, the Bucs aren’t as good as their record and Atlanta is.

ATLANTA - 27 VS. TAMPA BAY- 14

NFL News and Notes
point and a Pro Bowl appearance could very well be in the rookie's future this year. The first half of his game against the Steelers looked like more of the same, but Drew Brees snapped out of his funk in the 2nd half.  Defenses have clearly thrown Brees out of rhythm for much of the year and his accuracy and confidence has struggled because of it.  In the 2nd half against the Steelers, you could see Brees begin to pick up confidence and by the end of the game, he looked like the Brees of old. This year the Patriots have won with an AllPro guard missing, with undrafted free agents getting the carries at RB and with their supposed top WR option doing very little before being traded.  The Colts are on their 3rd string safety and they have had injuries across the board on offense at different times of the year.  The Steelers came out and started 3-1 without Ben Roethlisberger.  These teams are going out and playing to win no matter who is missing and the Green Bay Packers stopped worrying about who was missing and went out with that same mindset and b e a t t h e Je t s 9 - 0.   Wa s i t p i c t u r e p e r f e c t ?  Obviously not, but stealing games like that when you are depleted due to injuries is what will win the Packers a division title. This year's crop of QBs in the 2011 NFL Draft will be a ver y tricky group for teams to evaluate.  On one hand, Andrew Luck looks the part of the next Peyton Manning, but he doesn't always play with the consistency that you would like to see.  He's clearly the top QB in the draft, however.  Jake Locker is athletic, tough and able to make most of the NFL throws, but he's more of an athlete than a QB.  Ryan Mallett has great size and a big arm, but he doesn't move around outside the pocket well and his accuracy tends to break down at inopportune times.  Blaine Gabbert had all kinds of momentum until his last outing against Nebraska.  Christian Ponder doesn't dominate the competition as often as he should and Cam Newton has to prove that he can be a consistent NFL passer because he won't be running the zone read on the next level.

Peyton Manning is the best QB I've ever seen and I'm pretty sure that he'll stand up to any and all challengers from generations past or generations to come.  There will be some haters who try and knock him for potentially having "only" one Super Bowl win, but it is hard to blame Manning for that.  Manning can beat teams with rookies like Garcon and Collie or he can beat you with an undrafted free agent like Blair White.  Peyton will take his 3rd string RB and get maximum production out of him and this is all while working behind one of the least talented offensive lines in all of pro football over the last decade. Winning in the NFL becomes much easier if you are   making explosive plays.  If you can't move the ball down the field in chunks of 20 yards or more, it forces the offense to extend drives longer and take better care of the ball on a "per touch" basis.  Quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady can operate their offenses masterfully and move down the field with long, sustained drives, but there aren't too many other teams/QBs who can do the same.  So who are the most explosive offenses out there?  I counted each team's 20+ yard rushing and passing plays and gave an extra point for every rush or pass of 40+ yards.  I took that number and divided it by the total games played.  Here are the most and least explosive teams in football with their corresponding record next to them.
Most Explosive 1. San Diego (3 - 5) 2. New York Giants (5 - 2) 3. Denver (2 - 6) 4. Oakland (4 - 4) T5. Pittsburgh (5 - 2) T5. Houston (4 - 3) 7. Philadelphia (4 - 3) 8. Tennessee (5 - 3) Least Explosive 1. St. Louis (4 - 4) T2. Carolina (1 - 6) T2. Miami (4 - 3) T4. Baltimore (5 - 2) T4. Buffalo (0 - 7) 6. New Orleans (5 - 3) T7. Seattle (4 - 3) T7. Cincinnati (2 - 5)

It is awfully early to proclaim a draft class a hit or a miss, but the top two picks are playing really well right now.  Sam Bradford's season which includes 11 TDs / 8 INTs and 209 yards per game has been nothing short of stellar considering how badly his WR corps has been beat up.  It's hard to knock the Rams for taking Bradford at this time.  The same can be said for the Lions who resisted the urge to take tackles Trent Williams or Russell Okung and stuck with the best defensive player in the draft in Ndamukong Suh.  Suh already has 6.5 sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery for a TD.  I think Suh is playing just as well as Kevin Williams at this

Alabama (7 - 1) vs. LSU (7 - 1)
November 6, 2010 - CBS 2:30 PM CST Vegas Says: Alabama -6.5/44.5

Keys to the Game
Sep 4, 2010 Sep 11, 2010 Sep 18, 2010 Sep 25, 2010 Oct 2, 2010 Oct 9, 2010 Oct 16, 2010 Oct 23, 2010 Oct 30, 2010 Nov 6, 2010 Nov 13, 2010 Nov 20, 2010 Nov 26, 2010 W, SJSU 49-7 W, Penn St. 24-3 W, Duke 62-13 W, Arkansas 24-20 W, Florida 31-6 L, S. Carolina 35-21 W, Ole Miss 23-10 W, Tennessee 41-10 BYE @ LSU Mississippi State Georgia State Auburn R 186.9 ypg - 30th 253.9 ypg - 36th 440.8 ypg - 23rd 34.3 ppg - 24th 113.4 ypg - 17th 178.0 ypg - 16th 291.4 ypg - 11th 12.5 ppg - 2nd 2010 Ranking Run Offense Pass Offense Total Offense Scoring Offense Run Defense Pass Defense Total Defense Scoring Defense 179.1 ypg - 34th 138.8 ypg - 113th 317.9 ypg - 101st 25.5 ppg - 73rd 128.1 ypg - 38th 149.5 ypg - 4th 277.6 ypg - 7th 15.6 ppg - 10th Sep 4, 2010 W, UNC 30-24 Sep 11, 2010 W, Vandy 27-3 Sep 18, 2010 W, MSU 29-7 Sep 25, 2010 W, WVU 20-14 Oct 2, 2010 W, Tenn. 16-14 Oct 9, 2010 W, Florida 33-29 Oct 16, 2010 W, McNeese 32-10 Oct 23, 2010 L, Auburn 24-17 Oct 30, 2010 BYE Nov 6, 2010 Alabama Nov 13, 2010 ULM Nov 20, 2010 Ole Miss Nov 27, 2010 @ Arkansas

Proj. Offensive Starters
QB RB H WR WR TE LT LG C RG RT DE NT DE LB LB LB LB CB SS FS CB 12 Greg McElroy 22 Mark Ingram 85 Preston Dial 8 Julio Jones 4 Marquis Maze 89 Michael Williams 77 James Carpenter 65 Chance Warmack 73 William Vlachos 75 Barrett Jones 52 Alfred McCullough 92 Damion Square 99 Josh Chapman 57 Marcell Dareus 55 Chavis Williams 30 Dont’a Hightower 35 Nico Johnson 41 Courtney Upshaw 21 Dre Kirkpatrick 4 Mark Barron 37 Robert Lester 28 DeMarcus Milliner Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. So. Sr. So. Jr. So. Jr. So. Jr. Jr. Sr. So. So. Jr. So. Jr. So. Fr.

Trent Ingram is not Cam Newton - Two weeks ago, the Tigers possessed one of the best run stopping defenses in the nation. Drake Nevis and company were holding offenses to 83 yards per game on the ground. Then, Cam Newton happened. Sure, Newton is a sublime talent and he’s without question the most dynamic singular offensive talent in 2010, but the Tigers still gave up nearly 200 yards to guys not named Cam Newton. So, LSU had a week off to ready itself for the two headed monster named Trent Proj. Offensive Starters Ingram - Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram. Dealing J. Jefferson/J. Lee with the two stud backs is one thing, but the prevailing QB Stevan Ridley Jr. thought coming out of the Auburn game was whether RB 34 LSU’s defensive front could handle the punishing Auburn WR 10 Russell Shepard So. offensive line at the point of attack. If Newton accounted WR 2 Reuben Randle So. for all of the rushing yards against LSU, you might be able WR 80 Terrence Toliver Sr. to rationalize that it was one transcendent player playing TE 19 D’Angelo Peterson Jr. great. But, it wasn’t. That is the biggest worry for LT 78 Joe Barksdale Sr. defensive coordinator John Chavis - can his front handle LG 68 Josh Dworaczyk Jr. William Vlachos and company to just be in position to C 64 P.J. Lonergan So. make tackles on Richardson/Ingram? If not, it’ll be a T-Bob Hebert Jr. massively long day as Trent Ingram may roll for 275+ in RG 53 RT 72 Alex Hurst So. Baton Rouge. 7 for 60 - The most valuable and most important player wearing a yellow LSU helmet on Saturday afternoon will be Patrick Peterson. He was instrumental in shutting down wide receiver Julio Jones in last year’s game, but when he left the field due to an injury, Jones took a short screen pass 77 yards to the house for the game changing TD. Peterson has struggled with cramps this year and missed key moments in big games (UNC and Florida come to mind). He can’t miss one play against Alabama; he must play the entire 60 minutes. Make a Play - The LSU offensive troubles have been well chronicled throughout this season, but in the most important games of the season, key players stepped up to make big plays at the right time. Except against Auburn. If LSU has a shot to win this game, Terrence Toliver, Russell Shepard, Stevan Ridley must make something happen to put pressure on the ‘Bama defense. Or else.

Proj. Defensive Starters

Proj. Defensive Starters
DE DT DT DE LB LB LB CB SS FS CB 94 95 92 89 23 11 22 17 15 37 7 Kendrick Adams Pep Levingston Drake Nevis Lavar Edwards Stefoin Francois Kelvin Sheppard Ryan Baker Morris Claiborne Brandon Taylor Karnell Hatcher Patrick Peterson Jr. Sr. Sr. So. Jr. Sr. So. So. Jr. Jr. Jr.

Conclusion - If Alabama is going to make a move in the BCS rankings, now’s the time. With games against LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn down the stretch, Alabama controls its own destiny as it pertains to a national championship game visit. Thumping LSU in Baton Rouge is hurdle number one for the Tide and Alabama will take care of that business this weekend.

Alabama - 23 vs. LSU - 14

TCU (9 - 0) vs. Utah (8 - 0)
November 6, 2010 - CBS College 2:30 PM CST Vegas Says: TCU -5/51

Keys to the Game
Sep 4, 2010 W, Oregon St. 30-21 Sep 11, 2010 W, Tenn Tech 62-7 Sep 18, 2010 W, Baylor 45-10 Sep 24, 2010 W, SMU 41-24 Oct 2, 2010 W, CSU 27-0 Oct 9, 2010 W, Wyoming 45-0 Oct 16, 2010 W, BYU 31-3 Oct 23, 2010 W, Air Force 38-7 Oct 30, 2010 W, UNLV 48-6 Nov 6, 2010 @ Utah Nov 13, 2010 San Diego State Nov 20, 2010 BYE Nov 27, 2010 @ New Mexico R 270.9 ypg - 9th 214.8 ypg - 60th 485.7 ypg - 11th 40.8 ppg - 9th 98.3 ypg - 9th 119.0 ypg - 1st 217.3 ypg - 1st 8.7 ppg - 1st 2010 Ranking Run Offense Pass Offense Total Offense Scoring Offense Run Defense Pass Defense Total Defense Scoring Defense 191.5 ypg - 27th 258.1 ypg - 33rd 449.6 ypg - 21st 45.3 ppg - 3rd 102.8 ypg - 14th 165.0 ypg - 10th 267.8 ypg - 6th 14.1 ppg - 6th Sep 2, 2010 W, Pitt 27-24 Sep 11, 2010 W, UNLV 38-10 Sep 18, 2010 W New Mexico 56-14 , Sep 25, 2010 W, SJSU 56-3 Oct 2, 2010 BYE Oct 9, 2010 W, Iowa St. 68-27 Oct 16, 2010 W, Wyoming 30-6 Oct 23, 2010 W, CSU 59-6 Oct 30, 2010 W, Air Force 28-23 Nov 6, 2010 TCU Nov 13, 2010 @ Notre Dame Nov 20, 2010 @ San Diego State Nov 27, 2010 BYU

Proj. Offensive Starters
QB RB H Z X TE LT LG C RG RT DE NT DT DE MLB SLB SS FS WS CB CB 14 34 85 88 13 84 61 55 76 78 70 90 57 94 96 35 43 28 3 9 27 7 Andy Dalton Ed Wesley Jeremy Kerley Jimmy Young Antoine Hicks Evan Frosch Marcus Cannon Kyle Dooley Jake Kirkpatrick Josh Vernon Zach Roth Stansly Maponga Cory Grant D.J. Yendrey Wayne Daniels Tanner Brock Tank Carder Colin Jones Tejay Johnson Alex Ibiloye Jason Teague Greg McCoy Sr. So. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Fr. Sr. So. Sr. So. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr.

Gamechanger #1 - Every head coach throughout the country would love to have a player the caliber of TCU’s Jeremy Kerley. Sure, everyone would love to have a great player, but Kerley is so much more than just a contributing player. He’ll return kicks and punts. He’ll play in the slot at receiver and be one of the best catch and run threats in the MWC. He’ll line up at running back when the Horned Frogs get into scoring range. Quite frankly, he’s the crutch for QB Andy Dalton and this Horned Frog offense. He’s averaging 134.4 yards total offense, nearly 13.9 yards per play, on just under nine touches per game. Against Utah, though, Kerley might need to push that number to 12 to 15 to put significant pressure on the Utah defense. The Utes defense hasn’t been tested this season, but Kerley will be a quantum physics mid-term if he gets the touches he should. Gamechanger #2 - Kerley isn’t the only game changer on the field. Utah’s uber player is Shaky Smithson and his ability to change field position or put pressure on the TCU defense equates to what Kerley can do for the Horned Frogs. Smithson has two punt returns for touchdown this season and has the opportunity to turn the field position in favor of the Utes. This is the type of game in which field position is that much more important. These two teams are accustomed to flying up and down the field, but not against defenses like these. That being said, field position is paramount; Smithson can slip one tackle on a punt return and put the Utes in scoring position at a time when Utah truly needs it. Unsung hero - Utah left tackle John Cullen has been a pleasant surprise for the Utes offense this season. In the first game of the season, Cullen’s first start of his career, he was faced with slowing down pre-season AllAmericans Greg Romeus and Jabaal Sheard. No worries. He was instrumental in shutting them down. Cullen will now face one of the MWC’s best this week, TCU’s Wayne Daniels. It’ll be the biggest test of Cullen’s career to this point and he must survive for Utah to win.

Proj. Offensive Starters
QB RB WR WR WR TE LT LG C RG RT DE DT DT DE LB LB LB CB S S CB 3 Jordan Wynn 4 Matt Asiata 1 Shaky Smithson 85 Jereme Brooks 11 Luke Matthews 81 Kendrick Moeai 75 John Cullen 72 Caleb Schlauderaff 77 Zane Taylor 54 Tevita Stevens 70 Tony Bergstrom 96 98 44 94 52 32 18 27 2 33 21 Junior Tui’one Sealver Siliaga Dave Kruger Christian Cox Matt Martinez Chaz Walker Chad Manis Brandon Burton Brian Blechen Justin Taplin-Ross Lamar Chapman So. Sr. Sr. Sr. So. So. Jr. Sr. Sr. So. Jr. Sr. Jr. So. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Fr. Sr. Sr.

Proj. Defensive Starters

Proj. Defensive Starters

Conclusion - Utah QB Jordan Wynn experienced a nightmare last season in Fort Worth and needs to eradicate that from his memory with a strong game at home in this one. Unfortunately, TCU’s defense is still good enough to give him huge problems.

TCU - 27 vs. Utah - 20

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